Parents' Guide to

Charlie's Christmas Wish

By Brian Costello, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 10+

Uneven faith-based movie about the plight of homeless vets.

Movie PG 2020 94 minutes
Charlie's Christmas Wish Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 13+

Based on 3 parent reviews

age 18+

Great movie!
age 10+

My daughter loves it

she won't stop watching

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say: (3 ):
Kids say: Not yet rated

While it starts out as a "talking dog" faith-based holiday movie, Charlie's Christmas Wish gradually transitions into an earnest plea for doing more for homeless and mentally ill veterans. Those expecting more saccharin holiday fare will no doubt be disappointed, but for faith-based families interested in seeing how a church community and the surrounding town work together to address this issue, it should inspire thoughtful discussion about homeless and mentally ill veterans in America, and hopefully homeless and mentally ill people as a whole in America. That said, despite the positive message, the movie itself suffers from clunky storytelling, some flat acting, and the occasional awkward attempt at comedy.

It's the kind of movie where the story threads run amok and overwhelm any central narrative. Despite the title and movie poster, it's not long before little Charlie is just one of several side stories as the movie shifts its focus to getting to know all the veterans and their struggles. To seamlessly interweave all these stories would even be a challenge for the Robert Altmans of the world, and it's soon obvious that the movie's low budget, community-theater acting, and clunky shifts from cutesy dog voiceovers to homeless men having heart attacks in tent communities in the woods aren't up to the challenge.

Movie Details

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